As part of his two day visit to the UK on May 1 and 2 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, the two governments issued the UK-Japan Joint Statement: A dynamic strategic partnership for the 21st century following a meeting at UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s official residence 10 Downing Street.
The Joint Statement, issued on Mr Abe’s first official visit to London, reaffirms the dynamic strategic partnership between the two countries, based on shared values of democracy, rule of law, human rights and open and transparent markets. It also states that the UK and Japan have decided to reinforce collaboration in the areas of: global peace and security; global growth and prosperity; and science, technology, innovation, education and culture.
Of particular note were the commitments on Host to Host Cooperation between London and Tokyo around the forthcoming 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and the importance of the JET Programme for bilateral ties and exchange:
We will work closely in the areas of security, policing and cyber security, not least given the UK’s experience of hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to assist Japan as it prepares for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The UK and Japan look forward to a successful 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. We welcome the signing of the UK-Japan Host to Host Memorandum of Cooperation, through which we will share experience of the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as Japan prepares for its own Games, and of the England and Japan Rugby World Cups taking place in 2015 and 2019 respectively.
The UK and Japan acknowledge the importance of student and intellectual exchange and will encourage further cooperation in this field. The UK and Japan reaffirm the contributions which the JET programme has made to our bilateral ties; both sides look forward to continued active participation by UK applicants.
The UK will contribute to the goal of increasing English-language teaching in Japan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, including through the provision of internationally-validated English language assessment, such as IELTS, and Japan will work with the UK to promote Japanese language education in the UK.
The UK also offers to share experience from the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, building on our existing strong cultural relationship.
The Downing Street meeting between the two prime ministers was preceded by the “Invest in Japan: A Regional Roadmap” Japan Business Promotion Seminar held at the Institute of Directors on London’s Pall Mall, where Mr Abe gave a speech on Japan’s growth prospects and strategy to double foreign investment by 2020. The seminar, organised by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and supported by JLGC, also heard from Mr Norihiko Ishiguro, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and local leaders including Kobe Mayor Hisamoto, Fukuoka Mayor Takashima, Mie Governor Suzuki and Hiroshima Governor Yuzaki as they outlined their inward investment profile and local offer for trade, tourism and talent attraction, as well as contributions by former UK Ambassador to Japan Sir David Warren and Steve Crane CEO of Business Link Japan. Mr Abe also gave a speech that evening at the City of London Corporation’s Guildhall on the subject of economic reform and cooperation.
On May 2 Mr Abe visited the Olympic Park to witness the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation paving the way for close collaboration between the UK and Japan on the planning of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2019 Rugby World Cup. As part of his tour of the Park, the Prime Minister and his delegation visited the newly opened parklands in the south of the Park, as well as venues such as the London Aquatics Centre and attractions like the ArcelorMittal Orbit.